Leeds licensing team used CCTV to monitor and gauge the influx of out-of-town private hire drivers 

It has been revealed at a Leeds Council meeting that their taxi and private hire licensing team has been keeping a note of the number of out-of-town drivers working in the area.

The data was collected via observation by the team's CCTV van and recorded as part of an on street check.

In 2019, the council has recorded the number plates of 144 out of town vehicles: 95 from Bradford, 19 from Calderdale, 26 from Kirklees and 4 drivers from Wakefield.

The list only includes those recorded from the CCTV footage during the selected times of operation.

The council confirmed that they have no number plate records for vehicles licensed by any other licensing authorities.

In 2017 and 2018, the list of vehicles’ licensing authorities included Rossendale, London, Anglesey, and range of other authorities distant from Leeds.

In minutes published by the council, the licensing team said that the results of the data collection suggests that the 2018 Uber arrangement to ring-fence journeys to Yorkshire & Humber licensed drivers has had the effect of removing the vehicles from other regions.

Drivers licensed by one authority and working in another has raised debate on public safety, with many local authorities now pushing for tighter regulations to ensure all drivers reach the industry's minimum standards.

Some licensing authorities have been accused of making it too easy for drivers to obtain a licence, with many want-to-be private hire drivers flocking to arguably easier and/or cheaper councils to access a badge and then heading to another area to work.

Local authorities are calling for the powers to check drivers and their vehicles regardless of whether they are licensed by them or another council.

Image credit: Taxipoint

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